Arizona gymnast Gabby Laub strums to her own beat
Arizona gymnast Gabby Laub performs her uneven bars routine during Arizona's 197.850-196.375 loss to Utah on Jan. 31 in McKale Center. In addition to her on-court performance, Laub has musical talents off the court.
Move over Beyoncé, because Arizona gymnastics has found the next musical star. Meet sophomore gymnast Gabby Laub. On the floor, she competes in both vault and uneven bars and has earned career-highs of 9.825 and 9.875, respectively.
Outside of the gym, she has channeled her hidden talents of guitar and performing, singing herself all the way to the top.
Laub said she received her first acoustic guitar from her father when she was a child, but she didn’t learn how to play it until about three years ago, when she “randomly” taught herself.
Flash forward to about a year ago: Arizona cheerleader Andrew Maggio found out that Laub could sing and play guitar, and he decided they should play together some time.
“Gabby is extremely talented,” Maggio said. “I remember the first time we hung out to jam, and I found out her voice is just beautiful. If I wasn’t so caught up with school, we would be practicing together every day, but her dedication to gymnastics is also a huge part of her life.”
The duo even received some love from Arizona men’s basketball forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on Twitter.
“Hey followers my buddies @GabrielleLaub @drewmaggio are really good check them out. It’s @fortherainydays,” Hollis-Jefferson tweeted.
The duo recently had its first live performance at the UA Honors College Talent Show and they now have a Vine channel dedicated to the two singing together called “fortherainydays.”
“She never stops working and is the perfect example of a student athlete,” Maggio said. “I’m glad I’ve [had] the opportunity to perform with her.”
Laub said that country-music-sensation-turned-pop-star Taylor Swift is her biggest inspiration.
“I look up to Taylor Swift, because she writes her own music and puts all of her emotions into it,” Laub said. “She makes herself vulnerable for what she loves.”
Laub’s singing has brought the team together in more ways than one. In the recent talent show, her teammates came out to support her and cheer her on.
“She’s great at singing,” Arizona senior gymnast Allie Flores said. “I think she should pursue it, because it’s a hobby, and everyone needs a hobby, and sometimes hobbies can grow into more.”
According to Arizona gymnastics head coach Bill Ryden, Laub did not perform as well in her freshman year at the gym as she might have hoped. This season, Laub has changed that, bringing with her a new work ethic and a new voice.
“She came into the summer workouts and literally reinvented herself,” Ryden said. “Her physical fitness, how she does her skills, just the little nuts and bolts of how she does gymnastics. She’s a different person, and I think she set herself up now to have a fantastic collegiate career.”
In fact, Laub might have more in common with Ryden than she realizes. Both have played instruments and both are fans of country music.
“She’s a country music fan and has been writing and singing,” Ryden said. “As a country music fan myself, who also played instruments back in my day, I absolutely think it’s great. An artistic outlet is a perfect release for an intense mental sport like gymnastics.”
Even though Laub has competed against NCAA collegiate athletes in front of thousands of fans, she said she is most nervous when she is singing.
“I get more nervous before a performance, because I’ve done gymnastics my whole life,” Laub said. “I’m a little bit more used to it than I am at playing guitar.”
Moving forward, Laub said she will continue to compete to the best of her ability in the gym for the Wildcats while keeping her musical dreams alive and well.
“It’s not something that I’m majoring in or anything like that, but it’s definitely something that I have a dream for,” Laub said. “You never know what can happen.”
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